University of California Angers Many with Logo Change

The importance of branding can be seen when changes are made, no matter how small. Customers and fans of a brand and of what it represents may be  more sensitive to these changes than we might at first believe. Just ask the administrators at the University of California who recently decided to redesign the logo that has represented the organization for the past 144 years. Make the right branding decision and it can win new customers and make a strong statement about the value of the products and services you offer. Make the wrong one and…well, read on for more on the importance of making the right choices about your brand.

Brand Basics

How to send the wrong message. What university officials say they were trying to accomplish by changing UCs time-honored traditional logo was to stay abreast of the times and to promote the university’s iconic status as a center of education. What they got was a storm of insulting tweets, Facebook spoofs, e-mail memes, and an online petition asking the university to reconsider its choice. Ask yourself what parts of your brand customers feel passionate about. The Christian Science Monitor

Change is a good thing. Just as some have advised the University of California to stand its ground in spite of all the ruckus, there are times when business owners must stick to their guns even when making changes that may alienate some. Rachel Strella, owner of Strella Social Media, a small two-person social marketing agency in central Pennsylvania, was forced to make just such a difficult decision a few months ago when she put an end to the free consultations she had been offering prospects, only to have many take her suggestions without retaining her. Strella Social Media

Actions speak louder than words. On the other hand, there are times when you unintentionally hurt your brand, not by decisive action but rather by the things you fail to do when dealing with others. Take reliability, for instance, says branding expert Isabelle Mercier Turcotte. Fail to deliver on what you promise, and you have already damaged your brand. It’s a simple mistake your business can’t afford to make, so be sure to meet obligations and deadlines to demonstrate your reliability. Otherwise, nothing else you say about your brand will matter to anyone. Leap Zone Strategies

Recipe for Success

Cooking up a whole new brand. Nutritionist and vegetarian chef Sarah Britton has found multiple ways to build her brand. Check out this brief but informative video interview with marketing coach Stephanie Ward in which Britton explains the many ways she has worked to create her brand, including social media, blogging, networking, guest speaking, holding cooking workshops, and beyond. There are many ways to build a brand. First, look for the audience you are trying to reach, then find a way to connect. Firefly Coaching

Turn on the star power. You may never have thought of yourself or your business as a celebrity, but when it comes to spreading news about your brand to a targeted audience, very similar rules apply. PR consultant Marsha Friedman believes it is time to “Celebritize Yourself” and has written a book by that title about how companies can add an element of celebrity into their branding. In this profile, Friedman shares more of the methods needed to create a star brand for your company that will attract an audience and then the customers you seek. BizSugar Blog


A brand for every business. Perhaps no better evidence of the importance of having cohesive branding can be found in the success of small business owners like Emily Brackett, who focuses on creating consistency across multiple marketing channels. Here, Emily talks about her own business and the service she provides. Developing a consistent brand for everything you do is essential for your business success: It creates a picture for your customers, of who you are, and of what you do. VisibleLogic

Free tools to get you started. The fact is that many small businesses don’t have big marketing budgets to hire well-heeled PR and marketing firms to turn their brand into a household name. Hey, that’s okay, says consultant Lori Byron. There are plenty of tools out there to get you started on the way to being publicist and chief marketer for your brand. After all, you know your products and services better than anyone. Here’s how to start building your brand. Famous in Your Field

Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 16 years. A professional journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional media and online media, he attended Waynesburg University and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has held roles of reporter, editor and publisher, having founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press.